Today we set out for town with two tasks in mind. First, we were hoping to stop by a few car dealerships to see what kind of car we might be able to afford, and second we were planning to stop by and check out a house that might be available for us to rent near where the petrol station will (eventually) be going up.
We stopped at a Toyota dealership first. The kids and I stayed in the car with the computer and the iPods while Darin went to look around. He came back rather quickly and said the only car that was in our price range was not even on the lot, but was having some detail work done on it. Around that same time, our two passengers decided they were hungry and needed to be fed. So we headed to McDonalds (French Fries and fountain pop!) for a bite to eat. We were planning to continue our car search at some of the smaller car dealers along Zambesi Road, but Leon, Darin’s business partner, called and said he had time to meet with Darin right then and could we please come to Menlyn Mall in the next hour. Well, seeing as the big reason we are out here is the lovely business we have purchased, we decided it would be a good idea to see what progress, if any, has been made on it!
So we packed up the kids and headed to Menlyn Mall. We “helped” Darin find his meeting spot and then the kids and I moseyed around the mall for a little over an hour. It was not as horrible as it could have been, but in my mind I was thinking “God, we are supposed to be looking at cars right now and instead I am stuck dragging my kids through a mall”. Don’t we all love to have a good pity party every once in a while? I must say, I am usually more than willing to throw myself a pity party, but just yesterday I came across this gem in my new devotional “Jesus Calling” (thank you Mom!!):
“Thank me for the very things that are troubling you. You are on the brink of rebellion, precariously close to shaking your fist in My Face. You are tempted to indulge in just a little complaining about My treatment of you. But once you step over that line, torrents of rage and self-pity can sweep you away. The best protection against this indulgence is thanksgiving. It is impossible to thank Me and curse Me at the same time.”
So, I did manage to turn my attitude around, and shortly after a man at a kiosk stopped us and put sparkle glitter on both kids arms and buffed my fingernails and really, it was just a strange little bright spot in my day. Then as we were fruitlessly searching for a bathroom (seriously, that mall is SO confusing!) and kept going round and round in circles, we finally found a cool elephant fountain with Koi fish and also an aviary full of birds, so we plopped down and waited for Darin to call and tell us his meeting was finished. Thank you God for bright spots in my day!
It was now too late to go to more car lots as we needed to drive about 20 minutes away to go check out the house we heard was for rent. We get there and the owner, such a sweet lady, invites us in. We left the kids in the car (again with the iPods) so we could actually look around and not be distracted by them. This house was amazing. Truly. Her husband had designed it to be one of a kind. Windows everywhere, lots of built in cupboards and closets, which was a HUGE plus for us since we have no furniture, TWO outdoor showers, a huge yard, and even an extra room behind the garage with a toilet and sink for guests to stay in. Seriously I was getting SO excited. It is maybe 10 minutes max from where the petrol station will be and has 2 grocery stores and other shops close by. So she says “let’s sit and talk about things” so we eagerly do and then, whoosh. The wind is knocked out of our sails. Somehow communication was scrambled because she has no plans to rent, only to sell(for roughly $300k!). In my mind I’m thinking “God, You knew this so WHY did you bring us out here only to have our hopes built up and then let down so quickly?” I mean, this house had it all; all that we need and also some things that we want.
As Darin and I drove away, I just felt so disheartened. It seemed like the very things we had set out to accomplish today were miserable failures. One car lot and a house that isn’t even for rent. I could feel my teeth start clenching together, something that is becoming an all day, every day occurrence instead of just sometimes at night, and I could feel the tension coming through me. Then a few different thoughts came into my mind. First, we have not even been here two weeks. Most of that time has been spent just getting our things unpacked and buying groceries. We have just uprooted our family and moved to a new country for pity’s sake! So first, I know I need to just relax and cut us some slack. Second and more importantly, God knows what we need. He knows that we are looking for a reasonably priced car that will fit our family and a few extra people as needed. He also knows that we will need to find a place to live that is not only closer to the petrol station, but also in an area with English speaking schools and churches, or at least easy access to those things. He also knows that we have some wants, like a yard bigger than a postage stamp, some furnishings, and friendly neighbors. God knows what we need and what we want and I believe He desires to give us both of those things.
A few days ago, I read something else in “Jesus Calling”, which really struck a nerve in me.
“You are My beloved child. I chose you before the foundation of the world to walk with Me along paths designed uniquely for you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Me, instead of trying to anticipate My plans for you. If you trust that My plans are to prosper you and not to harm you, you can relax and enjoy the present moment.”
So that is what I am going to work on doing. Relaxing and enjoying the present moment. I know that the place we are currently staying is truly amazing. We have friends close by, we can enjoy so much of God’s handiwork on a daily basis, and Tyson and Jori have plenty of room to let their imaginations run wild. Instead of fretting that our business is not up and running as we originally thought it would be when we arrived, I am going to enjoy having Darin here at home with us, allowing me to sleep in til 8 if I so desire! God knows our needs and He knows our wants. He already knows what the future holds for our family, so why would I spend this “waiting” time worrying and freaking out when I can just enjoy what He has provided and rest in His promise that He will never leave us?